Avoiding Workplace Stress

Avoiding Workplace Stress

The Health and Safety Executive has suggested that around 20% of the working population believe their job is either ‘very stressful’ or ‘extremely stressful’. However, here are some simple ways you can avoid, or at least minimise, workplace stress:

  • Learn to say No– if you are always being asked to take on additional tasks, it is probably a sign that your company thinks highly of you. But if you become known as someone who always says Yes when asked to do something, your workload could become intolerable.
  • Ask for help when required– if you are struggling with your workload, talk to your line manager and see what tasks can be allocated to others.
  • Learn to manage yourself better – consider tackling high-priority tasks first, breaking tasks into smaller chunks, getting unpleasant tasks completed early in the working day, and delegating where possible.
  • Eat and drink properly – make sure you eat breakfast before starting work, eat a decent amount at lunchtime and drink water, tea, coffee etc. regularly throughout the working day.
  • Eat lunch away from your desk– your lunch might not be bought from a workplace canteen, or from a café with a seating area. However, try to eat lunch anywhere but at your desk if possible. If the weather is good, why not eat it on a bench in the local park?
  • Learn some simple stress relieving exercises and routines – various websites can point you in the right direction here.
  • Get some exercise – a healthy body can lead to a healthy mind. So try some form of regular exercise outside of work, whether it’s joining a gym, doing some simple exercises at home, running, cycling or just walking. You may be able to do some of these during your lunch break. Many people don’t take the length of lunch break they are entitled to, and this is not always because of their workload. You may find yourself returning to work early simply because there isn’t enough to do around town – so consider going to the local gym or just taking a walk during your contracted lunch break.
  • Make sure you get up when you need to, and leave work when you need to – rushing around at home because you overslept, or leaving the house late and worrying about whether you will make it to work on time are sure-fire ways of ensuring you will be stressed even before you start work.
  • Improve your social life – we all have some level of family commitments, and some limit on how much we can spend on socialising. However, try and do as much as possible outside of work. It can make working so much easier if you know there is something to really look forward to when you leave work. If you don’t have a large circle of friends, consider joining a club or society that allows you to pursue one of your hobbies, or look on the internet for local social groups.

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